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Doctor Zhivago

Narrated by: Phillip Madoc
Length: 18 hrs and 25 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

Regular price: $25.68

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Publisher's Summary

On they went singing 'Eternal Memory', and whenever they stopped, the sound of their feet, the horses and the gusts of wind seemed to carry on their singing - Doctor Zhivago is the epic novel of Russia in the throes of revolution and one of the greatest love stories ever told. Yuri Zhivago, physician and poet, wrestles with the new order and confronts the changes cruel experience has made in him and the anguish of being torn between the loves of two women.

©2011 Boris Pasternak (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A great tale

I read a lot of the great Russian authors in my student days but for some reason never read this, so I was very pleasantly surprised at how well written it is and how is the story of the tumultuous period between the wars

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 12-21-17

An epic of love and war

My favourite film of all time is Dr Zhivago with Julie Christie and Omar Sharif. I’ve always meant to read the original but the fat tome has sat on my bookshelves unread for decades, whereas this audio version has accompanied me as I do other things and the many hours have sped by. It’s a monumental work that tells the developing love story of Yuri and Lara against the backdrop of early 20th century Russian history.

I have to say that if I hadn’t seen the film recently I think I would have been lost among the numerous characters and locations with unfamiliar names. Even so there is a lot extra material in the book with side stories and, for me, a too many lengthy monologues on politics, theology and philosophical musings. Tolstoy’s War and Peace has the same propensity which may have influenced Pasternak.

For those who have seen the film and can visualize the scenes as you hear them described it’s a five start listen.

The narrator give a tour de force performance that enhanced the power of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. M. A. Ellul
  • 11-14-18

Incorrect translation

The audiobook is of the translation by Hayward and Harari, not the new vintage edition as advertised. It is important to be accurate as the translation is important to many readers.

Nonetheless this is an assured and moving reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-02-18

The translation is not the one in the photo

I bought this in order to read along with my edition by Vintage, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, only to find that the photo is is completely misleading and it is a different translation. There seems to be no information about which translation this is.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Souzan
  • 07-08-13

Fantastic Love Story

What did you like most about Doctor Zhivago?

The Drama of the Piece was brillian

What did you like best about this story?

Just when you think its over, life changes in the most dramatic ways

Which scene did you most enjoy?

When he returns from the civil war

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It was very romantic. I loved it.

Any additional comments?

It was also very good at giving a historical representation of Russia during the civil war. A must read if you are studying that period.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms J Worrall
  • 04-07-19

A paean to the profundity of existence amid the horrors of political chaos.

While not a perfect read, with some passages digressing and some, I thought, with unconvincing dialogue, this is still undoubtedly a masterpiece. Lyrical and utterly sublime in its descriptions of Russia and the natural world, profound in its reflections on life, love, art, morality and politics, it is an all encompassing tragedy, lifted into transcendence in the telling of the fortunes of individuals caught in the cruel tide of history. I loved the film, which cleverly kept to the main narrative of this occasionally rambling work, but the book adds another layer, particularly in the sublime descriptive passages which reminded me of the purpose of great art to open our sensibilities, hearts and minds. It is politically an immensely important book, a dangerous and dissenting voice to the Soviet regime, and a reminder to beware ideologues, a towering work... highly recommended

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  • Povilas
  • 03-29-19

Great story of lives upended by the revolution

Great story of lives upended by the revolution. Well-constructed characters. Some relationships were hard to follow.

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  • T. Greb
  • 11-25-18

Yep, you guessed it

I can't fault the book. it's a classic, a Russian classic which means that is sad, tragic, depressing and of course beutifully written. if you love classics then a must read, but of course be prepared to leave it depressed and broken.

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  • Elizabeth B
  • 11-27-17

Superb. Menna Cardiff

I have always meant to read Dr Zhivago but have always put it off. Now however I am so glad I waited. Phillip Madoc''s narration Is masterly and
adds immeasurably to the understanding off this wonderful book. I Was sad to see hat he died a few months after the release of this audio. I would like to have written to him
I am, however, very proud that a Welsh actor has left a legacy of this
extraordinary quality. The translation is superb.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in classic literature . A rare achievement!!!!
















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  • M. Mears
  • 12-29-16

An extraordinary and beautifully written book.

I do not think that I will ever read a more beautifully written & moving love story. Writing does not get any better than this. But this is not a happily ever after or nice story but rather a story an extraordinary love in the midst of the most terrible circumstances.

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  • ReadingWild
  • 11-18-16

Brilliant performance

This must have been one of Phillip Madoc's very last performances and was certainly his last major undertaking, and his voice gives Zhivago the depth, warmth and crisp frostiness it deserves. A great new translation and a wonderful performance.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful